Truth

At the End of my Life

Blog_OceanRoad

At the end of my life, I don’t care if anyone remembers my face, or even my name. I only hope I’ll have planted enough seeds of love to grow life-outlasting fruit. And I hope to have rightly represented our God of grace, mercy, truth, and love to have drawn people to know how amazing he truly is.

 

Source: Living with Legacy in Mind

Photo Credit: Bixby Bridge from Above  | by Daniel Peckham flickr.com

Written in Sand

Blog_LoveWrittenInSandThere’s been a lot of verbal stone-throwing in our world lately. Those who disagree with the beliefs or lifestyles of another group don’t hesitate to speak harsh, condemning words, and those with opposing viewpoints are quick to return the favor. Truth and love are lost in the war of words, leaving the world with a skewed perspective of God—some thinking him a hateful tyrant, others believing him a lenient father who smiles and winks when those he so loves do as they please.

In Jesus’ day, an adulterous woman was caught in the line of fire, an angry mob surrounding her, stones in hand, prepared to hasten her death. When Jesus showed up, the mob hoped to trap him in their extremes. Would he grab a stone and hurl it? Or would he embrace the woman’s lifestyle that likely tore families, and her own life, apart?

Jesus catered to no one. Instead, he knelt in the sand and started writing. When the crowds questioned him, he stood, saying, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Then he knelt again, writing, as one by one the accusers dropped their stones and left the scene.

What was he writing that so pierced the hearts of the crowd? Many speculate he’d outlined the Ten Commandments, a visual reminder of how far all had fallen equally short. In the end, he stood, telling the woman: “Has no one condemned you? Then neither do I condemn you.”

Most of us would like to close the story there, defining love by the lack of condemnation. But Jesus went a step further, saying, “Go now and leave your life of sin.” He did not condemn the sinner, but he did confront the sin in all its destructive capacities. True, it’s unloving to condemn. Yet it’s also unloving to turn a blind eye when someone’s life choices lead them on a pathway of certain death.

Jesus understood something about the woman, and the crowds so quick to condemn. We’re all yearning: longing for something we don’t have…seeking to fill a hole in our hearts…knowing there has got to be something better. In the midst of our search, we’ve all fallen far short of that which will truly fulfill. To condemn others for seeking to fill their void is to condemn ourselves, for haven’t we all turned to broken cisterns that hold no water? Yet for those who’ve found God alone can fill that void, how very unloving to tell another “go now, do whatever pleases you,” all the while knowing our greatest pleasure comes when our identity is found in our loving Creator.

Note that whatever Jesus wrote, he wrote in the sand. Our self-made identities are not written in stone. We are not defined by our habits. All we’ve done, seeming so worthy of condemnation, is written in sand, washed away by the love of God the moment we choose to turn from the lie that tells us freedom is doing whatever we please to the truth that freedom is found in a life lived for the one who created us with greater things in mind.

“Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in thee.” (St Augustine)

 

Photo Credit: Love Written in the Sand | Flickr by All Things Sprite and Beautiful

The View, The Scorch, and a Zombie Apocalypse

Blog_TVControlRoomHave you ever wondered what it would be like to be a victim of a zombie apocalypse? Me neither, though yet another movie has emerged to depict the potential outcome of such a catastrophe. Which has me thinking. We’re not so different from these would-be victims.

Though much of our world is now wireless, how much of our days are spent connected by invisible wires to a monitor of some sort? The TV screen, the computer monitor, our cell phone display. And though we’re told by the talking heads on such monitors to think for ourselves, they’re doing an awful lot of the thinking for us. “Be original, be yourself, be unique!” they cry as the silent warning sounds that if we so much as diverge from their status quo, we will be verbally persecuted, if not worse.

A recent and now-notorious episode of The View serves as example. Nurses around the world were rightly outraged when their selfless profession was casually mocked by the talking heads on this opinion-driven platform, triggering the hashtag #nursesunite. No matter if the initial comments were a weak attempt at humor. It took this obvious untruth spoken across the airwaves to wake would-be fans to what has been reality for as long as the first TV antennas went up: not everything we hear from rich and famous self-proclaimed life-experts is…true.

We’ve lived so long in a media-induced stupor that we don’t realize how far we’ve drifted from reality until some clearly misguided statement wakes us from our near-comatose state. How long prior to #nursesunite were the screen-bound personas of The View and shows like it speaking untruths, half-truths, misguided words and emotion-driven opinions without a public outcry as the outcome? How much of our own worldview is so influenced by the media that we can’t even separate truth from opinion…from blatant lie?

#Nursesunite is not just a hashtag. It’s a wake-up call, reminding us that the people on TV are just…people. They are not gods. They are not life-experts. And we don’t owe our lives, or our brains, to them. As much as the world of monitors has become our world, we need to detach ourselves from the wireless wires and finally…think for ourselves.